We Are Wednesbury

We Are Wednesbury is part of the Wednesbury High Street Heritage Action Zone, a new initiative funded by Sandwell Council and Historic England that will see restorations made to the high street, breathing life into it for future generations.

The cultural programme celebrates the town’s community life; invites its residents to share its histories and stories, and to collectively imagine possibilities for its future. Over the next three years, people are invited to participate in a free programme of creative projects and activities, with performances, community walks and celebrations, street festivals, processions and art workshops taking place in the streets and community spaces of Wednesbury.

To find out more visit www.bit.ly/WeAreWednesbury or join the We are Wednesbury Facebook page and follow @multistory on social media.

Send us an email if you want to know more about the programme, have any ideas about future projects or events email or simply want to say hello!

Design by a pupil at St Mary’s Primary School. Made during a workshop led by artist Emily Warner as part of their project Digital Postcards, delivered during the Wednesbury HSHAZ Pilot programme, High Street Stories, 2020.

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We Are Wednesbury: Issue 1

The first of three annual editions of the We Are Wednesbury community magazine is now out, and soon to be available in print across community hubs and shops along Wednesbury high street. The magazine shares activities that have taken place during 2021-22 as part of the cultural programme, which celebrates the town’s community life, inviting its residents to share histories and stories and to collectively imagine possibilities for its future. In these pages you can find snapshots into the programme as well as newly written creative writing by young citizen journalists who interviewed local business owners to inform their work.

Download the magazine as a PDF for free!

Here’s what’s coming up in 2022/23.

What’s In Store (23 & 24 September 2022)

What’s In Store is bringing two days of exciting live poetry, music, theatre and street performances to Wednesbury town centre. All of the performances will be free to attend and will take place multiple times across the two days. It will be suitable for all ages and will include shows for families, street performances and a walking tour.

There will be something for everyone to enjoy, so come along and join us in celebrating Wednesbury’s community and the independent businesses at the heart of it.

Please visit www.bctouring.co.uk/whats-in-store-wednesbury for more information and for a flavour of what’s to come.

Wednesbury Literature Festival (1 to 15 October 2022)

Save the date – Wednesbury Library will be hosting a Literature Festival as part of We are Wednesbury.  Join us for a wide range of events which both celebrate the local area and introduce people to new and exciting authors.  There’ll be author events, storytelling, local history, music and theatre across the fortnight.

Call out for young Citizen Journalists (start date: October 2022)

Local writers, storytelling and literature enthusiasts aged 18-25 are invited to join this year’s cohort of young writers for the We Are Wednesbury community magazine. Eight young journalists will receive mentoring from writer and storyteller Gabriella Songui and will write a piece that engages with the Cultural Programme’s rich programme of events, creative projects and activities.

This is a great opportunity to try your hand at creative writing and journalism and to get involved in an exciting community project. You’ll receive regular writing and production sessions and a reference from Multistory for participating. You don’t need any prior experience to take part.

If you’d like to be involved, please send an email to jesspiette@multistory.org.uk no later than 10 September 2022, and feel free to contact her if you have any questions.

Citizen journalists from the first year of the programme. From left to right: Emily, Ella, Leigh, Rayhanah & Jasandeep © Phillip Parnell
Artwork by local children at the MARKET community event, Wednesbury, 2022 © Multistory
Hipkiss & Graney workshop at South Staffs Water Community Hub © Phillip Parnell

Second year

In year 2021/22 artist duo Hipkiss & Graney coproduced the art project Market alongside Wednesbury residents. The group created new fabric banners in a series of textile and storytelling workshops, and their work was shared at a community celebration of the refurbished clocktower in March. Alongside this, many other things unfolded throughout the year: local people took part in
an open photography competition focussing on Wednesbury’s unique features, poetry performances took place in shops along the high street, a set of short performance films were produced exploring the many dialects and languages of Wednesbury and their relationship to food, and a series of community walks
animated the town, featuring newly commissioned poetry that focussed on the social, historic and physical landscapes of the town.

First year

In 2021, Multistory developed High Street Stories, a digital community engaged arts programme that was developed with, and for, Wednesbury residents working with local artists. The programme explored the past, present and future of the town through a series of free, artist-led digital workshops, and the work created is now presented online via We Are Wednesbury, an interactive community map that outlines hidden histories and stories of the local area. The map was launched as part of an online event that shared artistic research from the project and explored themes of community, collaborative practice and rootedness within place.